What We Do
New Jerusalem Studios specializes in theologically informed liturgical design for renovation and the creation of large scale sacred art murals. Especially for Catholic churches built in the past 50 years, often characterized by modern ideas of design, and void of sacred images, New Jerusalem Studios can work with you to do modest renovation at an affordable price, making use of local artisans and craftsman to give a facelift to a church that enhances the sense of sacramental beauty. This includes flooring, pews, sanctuary appointments, architectural elements, lighting, and the like. Additionally we specialize in creating large scale sacred art murals which make visible and radiantly beautiful the rich realities in which we participate in the Mass: the whole scope of God’s saving plan in salvation history, and the ultimate reality we celebrate in Mass, the eternal worship of entire Mystical Body.
Meet Ruth and Geoff Stricklin
Ruth, a mural artist and designer, and her husband Geoff, a graduate of the Liturgical Institute, Mundelein, IL, formed New Jerusalem Studios in 2014 in response to a growing commitment to authentic liturgical renewal in the catholic community, especially seen in the desire of many parishes to bring a traditional sense of beauty back into their sacred spaces. The mission of NJS is "to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ through beautiful sacred art and design.” Ruth and Geoff each experienced profound conversions through encounters with beauty in sacred art and music in the liturgy, which they came to understand were encounters with Christ himself. Through these experiences, they have come to see that beauty, when placed at the service of the liturgy in her architecture, art, music, and ritual, makes the hard work of conversion seem not so arduous, but attractive and enticing. Ruth and Geoff bring their passion and years of training and experience in art and design, parish ministry, teaching, and formal education in liturgy to the mission of evangelizing through beauty. Because the Stricklins understand sacred art as a gateway to a sacramental encounter with Christ, their work is not primarily about selling a product, but rather, helping people to experience Christ's loving and transforming presence in the Mass.
What does "New Jerusalem" mean?
The name of our company, New Jerusalem Studios, is drawn from a major biblical theme found in God’s unfolding plan of salvation throughout the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, King David united the tribes of Israel, and brought them finally into the holy city, Jerusalem, where the new temple was established as the great sign of God’s abiding presence with his chosen people. This theme is revisited in the New Testament, as Jesus speaks of a future time when the Kingdom of God will be definitively established. According to John’s vision in the Book of Revelation, this “new heaven and new earth” would be called the “new Jerusalem,” a place of perfect union with God:
“Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:3-4)
This eternal union with God is the fulfillment of his whole plan of salvation. And until Christ’s glorious second coming, we experience this eternal union with God by way of foretaste, when we enter the celebration of the Holy Mass. The Mass makes present and draws us into participation with the whole Mystical Body in the eternal worship of the Father through the Son. Because of this profound reality, art, architecture, and music- truly, all the signs and symbols of the liturgy- should bring to our senses the reality of this heavenly city, the end for which we were made. To contribute to this goal through the creation of beautiful works of sacred art is the aim of New Jerusalem Studios, and our reason for being.